As was foretold, we've added advertisements to the forums! If you have questions, or if you encounter any bugs, please visit this thread: https://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/240191/forum-advertisement-faq-and-reports-thread/

Options and advice regarding reinstalling Win 7 without original discs

So it's the same old nightmare scenario. I made the fatal mistake of saying to a technologically illiterate family friend "Sure I'll take a quick look at your laptop!" and now they expect miracles while giving me next to no information ("It's slow" is the most technical explanation I'll get). As for how technologically illiterate, all she does on the thing is browse the web, email, and play Mafia Wars. Which resulted in this frigging surreal conversation.

"Hey, what's this Google Chrome? I heard about it a while ago."
"It's a web browser."
"...What's a web browser?"
"...Uhh, it's the thing you browse the net with. The thing you play Mafia Wars on."
"...???"
"Oh fuck my life..."

Either way, after numerous looks, I'm of the mind to just nuke the thing and start fresh. There's next to no data on the thing worth backing up either. The laptop has the sticker with the product key on it, Windows 7 premium Home edition. My plan is to just burn a disc of W7 and go from there. In doing some quick googling though, I found you can run into issues if it's an OEM version, which my luck it probably is. And all manner of discussion ranging from "It won't work/you need the manufacturer's disc" to "No problem at all.". I found MS's own site for the disc iso, but it wants the product key first, which I don't have but can easily call and ask her to read off for me.

I'm just wondering what my options and potential hurdles are here. To sum up, all I have access to is the laptop itself and the ol' windows sticker on it. It probably has a recovery partition, but since that shit usually reinstalls a bunch of bloatware too, I'd sooner just bypass that and go completely fresh. Will I have a problem regarding product keys and OEM, do I need a special version of W7, or will it all go smoothly.

Worst case "Fuck THIS!" scenario, the machine gets turfed and I just buy her a damn tablet and be done with it. Which she's pretty receptive to, this laptop is pretty darn big and she's not a fan of lugging it around. Especially since it's literally just an internet looking machine. Thing is, it's a pretty decent laptop though. Specs wise, it shouldn't be this ungodly slow and cumbersome. It shouldn't be unsalvageable. But I am limited in what I have available and my own limited knowledge.

Anybody got any advice or suggestions?

"The sausage of Green Earth explodes with flavor like the cannon of culinary delight."
PSN: TheWolfman64 3DS/Pokemon Y: 0774-4614-4065/NNID: the_wolfman64

Posts

  • FoomyFoomy Registered User regular
    edited April 2016
    https://www.microsoft.com/en-ca/software-download/windows7

    and a usb stick.

    The keys that run into trouble are either volume licenses, or ones you buy OEM from somewhere like newegg, but your laptop key won't fall under those two categories.

    After that it'll all go smoothly, insert the key reboot laptop, follow instructions.



    Foomy on
    Steam Profile: FoomyFooms
  • ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    What exactly is wrong with it? If you want to avoid the nuke from orbit, there may be options. If it's malware, Malware Bytes is a great way to solve that. If there are OS issues, SFC may be able to solve some of them.

    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
  • The WolfmanThe Wolfman Registered User regular
    It's ridiculously slow. Web browsers taking a long time to load up, and now she says it's freezing while browsing. With something like Netflix, the sound and image would desync, with the image running in slow motion. It's no doubt riddled with all manner of malware and bloatware eating up the CPU processing. I've only ever been able to sit down with the thing for about 5 minutes at a time, so there's never been much I could do. But it's no doubt the equivalent of a hoarder's house. And I honestly have no real desire to spend hours cleaning house when a full on wipe and reinstall would be simpler and faster. I'm going to try using Malware bytes, but I don't imagine it'll be the magical tincture that fixes everything. Given that there's nothing that needs to be backed up other than simple shit like bookmarks and a few emails, it seems easier to just wipe it. Then if it's still shit, it's probably bad hardware.

    I don't know what exactly is wrong with it because it's the equivalent of going into a doctor's office and saying "My thing inside me hurts". Well, that could literally be anything from an upset tummy to ebola. And they expect me to be freakin' Dr. House on the matter. :P

    "The sausage of Green Earth explodes with flavor like the cannon of culinary delight."
    PSN: TheWolfman64 3DS/Pokemon Y: 0774-4614-4065/NNID: the_wolfman64
  • ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    MBAM is never a tincture, but I've seen it work some miracles before. All of what you're describing sounds like cycles being eaten up by malware and other bloat, so it's worth a shot.

    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
  • DratatooDratatoo Registered User regular
    edited April 2016
    If you don't have any Window 7 install media, and if the Laptop isn't to old, you could migrate her to Windows 10 - images can be created with the Media creation tool, plus the latest versions let you enter the Win 7 CD-key directly. Enable auto login, put the icons of the much used programs on Desktop, done.

    Anyways, Windows 7 wise, you can use every installation media, you don't have to rely on the missing restore disks or restoration partition of the laptop.

    Ranty edit:

    Something I had to learn the hard way. Don't let perceived friendship guilt you into doing things. There are lots of people who call you buddy or friend to get something out of you. In my case, what I call third and fourth tier relationships (persons my friends know but I barley interact with) were the worst.

    As result I instructed my friends to stop advertising me as free service repair. That is double douchebaggery, they gain popularity by recommending me while not being burdened with any responsibility, while I have to spend my valuable freetime fixing broken shit from strangers without any benefit besides a pat on the back.

    Secondly, don't feel bad, if you decline. Real friends will forgive you, strangers won't bring you any benefits anyways if they use such roundabout ways just to save some bucks.

    Dratatoo on
    ShadowfireLD50
  • The WolfmanThe Wolfman Registered User regular
    Update: I got the product key, punched it into the W7 site... and "The product key you entered appears to be for software pre-installed by the device manufacturer." So ugh.

    So again, most stuff I'm reading ranges from "It'll work" to "It won't work" to "You just have to edit the ei.cfg file and change it to OEM and it'll work".

    Otherwise, I guess I just have to suss out a W7 iso from somewhere?

    "The sausage of Green Earth explodes with flavor like the cannon of culinary delight."
    PSN: TheWolfman64 3DS/Pokemon Y: 0774-4614-4065/NNID: the_wolfman64
  • ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    I might have to echo @Dratatoo and suggest the Windows 10 route. It probably will be the least trouble.

    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
  • The WolfmanThe Wolfman Registered User regular
    I have considered it, but she's also a "if it's not broke don't fix it/I fear change" type of person. Which I can emphasize with. Though I could just teach her how to use that and be done with it.

    That brings up another question. Say I do that and upgrade it. If I were to decide to then wipe the thing and then reinstall W10 fresh, does the same product key work? And if I did have to go back to 7, would the same key still work (assuming it would in the first place before upgrading)?

    "The sausage of Green Earth explodes with flavor like the cannon of culinary delight."
    PSN: TheWolfman64 3DS/Pokemon Y: 0774-4614-4065/NNID: the_wolfman64
  • wunderbarwunderbar What Have I Done? Registered User regular
    if you do the free upgrade, you do not need a product key after the fact. the license is tied to a hardware ID of the machine, so it will activate without issue.

    And yes, you should be able to restore back to windows 7 if she doesn't like the 10 upgrade. there's even a "go back" option in windows 10 itself.

    Lastsly, even if the machine is old you might try contacting the OEM of the computer. They *might* give you an ISO or send you a disc or something.

    XBL: thewunderbar PSN: thewunderbar NNID: thewunderbar Steam: wunderbar87 Twitter: wunderbar
    Gaslight
  • jothkijothki Registered User regular
    wunderbar wrote: »
    if you do the free upgrade, you do not need a product key after the fact. the license is tied to a hardware ID of the machine, so it will activate without issue.

    Even if you want to stick with Windows 7, as long as you're wiping the system anyway, it might be worth it to pop Windows 10 on it for a bit just to get the system permanently registered.

Sign In or Register to comment.